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The Leadership Imperative: Making Your Leadership Your Life

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: brent@actionleadership.com Word count: 470 Most leaders are underachievers. They're getting a fraction of the results they are capable of. And in most cases, it's their fault. Their failures are the result of the choices they make.

For the opportunities to consistently get more results are all around them all the time, theirs for the taking. For instance, to start getting more results than you are accustomed to getting, you simply have to change your mind-set. You should aim to make your leadership your life and your life your leadership. If you don't, you diminish both your leadership and your life. To have the change in mind-set really sink in so it changes you in a deep, fundamental way, you must cultivate two dynamics: a vision of the purpose of your leadership, and the dedication to fulfill that purpose.

The word "vision" has been used and misused ad nauseam. The trouble is that most leaders misunderstand it. When they think "vision", they look at themselves, at what they can do for themselves. To do well for yourself, an inward focus is the wrong place to look. Here's a vision that you can carry with you for the rest of your career, for the rest of your life. I call it the Leadership Imperative. I WILL LEAD PEOPLE IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE TOGETHER NOT ONLY ACHIEVE THE RESULTS WE NEED BUT ALSO BECOME BETTER AS PEOPLE AND AS LEADERS. This vision has two parts: one is results-accomplishments and the other is self improvement. You are never more powerful as a leader as when, in getting results, you are helping others be better than they are -- even better than thought they could be. Guided by the Leadership Imperative, you'll find that the jobs you take on, the career(s) you have, will, in terms of your doing well by them, take care of themselves.

However, vision alone is not enough. You must be dedicated to realizing it. Realizing this vision means living not an easy life for ourselves but a hard life for others. There are many ways to make such realization happen, and it should be our life's journey to find them and put them into action. When you turn the focus of your ambitions away from yourself and toward other people, when you become truly ambitious for their success, your success will take care of itself. How do we really let our leadership sink deeply into our life and change it and shape it throughout our lives? By dedicating ourselves to passionately realizing the Leadership Imperative.


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